Silence

Yes, Martin Scorsese’s rumination on belief and persecution Silence is very good, and yes, this is a magnificent filmmaker at work who is rightly cherished by film fans of all ages and tastes. There are two good actors in the lead roles whose careers are still very much in the early stages, and I’m not sure either is really suited to the role of a 17th century Jesuit priest or is quite able to carry the weight of such a film at the present moment…but I suppose if Scorsese is happy with Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver and their performances then I should just shut the hell up. Garfield gets better as the film goes on, but I just wish there were a couple of great turns here; as it is the two leads are overshadowed by Yōsuke Kubozuka, who is excellent in a smaller role as translator/guide-turned-betrayer Kichijiro. It certainly looks very good – lots of lavish images from Rodrigo Prieto – and Thelma Schoonmaker is of course an excellent editor who has been at the peak of her powers for as long as her illustrious collaborator. The subject matter of faith – familiar to long-term Scorsese fans – and long running time have evidently put plenty of people off, which is a shame. (****½)